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DCR to Block Drivers From More Parkways in Boston, Watertown

A Google Street View image of Francis Parkman Drive at its intersection with Perkins Street on the north shore of Jamaica Pond in Boston.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced Friday that it would open three roadway segments in Boston and Watertown for recreational use this weekend in order to encourage safer physical distancing at popular parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, Department officials said that the following road segments will be closed to car traffic starting at dusk Friday evening, and open for recreational use at dawn on Saturday, April 11:

    • In South Boston, William J. Day Boulevard will be closed to car traffic along Pleasure Bay, between Farragut Road and Shore Drive.
    • In Jamaica Plain, Francis Parkman Drive will be closed to car traffic along the west side of Jamaica Pond, between Perkins Street and the Arborway.
    • In Watertown, Greenough Boulevard will be closed to car traffic between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street, along the Charles River waterfront in the vicinity of the Arsenal Yards shopping mall.

The closures of these parkways to car traffic are being coordinated with simultaneous closures of parking areas to discourage people from driving to the parks. Taken together, DCR hopes that these measures will reduce crowding and give park users more space to spread out.

The press release did not indicate whether these road closures would continue for additional weekends beyond this one, but it did say that "after the weekend, DCR will evaluate the effectiveness of the measure."

The agency also stressed that "if a park is crowded, visitors should visit a different location or return at a later date or time."

Earlier this week, DCR had announced closures of several park roads in more suburban areas, including weekend closures of Fellsway West in Medford and an ongoing closure of Chickatawbut Road in Blue Hills Reservation between Milton and Braintree.

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